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Actor Tom Alter passes away at 67 after long battle with skin cancer

Film and theater actor Tom Alter passed away at the age of 67 at his Mumbai residence on Saturday. The actor was suffering from squamous cell carcinoma (a type of skin cancer). Tom made his big screen debut in 1976 with a small role in Dharmendra-starrer Charas and later went on to work in many films.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: September 30, 2017 11:55 am
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Veteran theatre and film personality Tom Alter passed away at his Mumbai residence on Saturday. He was 67. The actor was suffering from squamous cell carcinoma (a type of skin cancer).

Tom Alter was battling stage four skin cancer at a Mumbai hospital, where he was admitted earlier in September.

He returned home on Thursday and breathed his last on Friday night, said manager Ismail Ansari.

In an official statement, Tom Alters’s son Jamie Alter said, “It is with sadness we announce the death of Tom Alter, actor, writer, director, Padma Shri, and our dear husband and father. Tom passed away Friday night at home with his family and close family members in attendance. We ask for their privacy to be respected at this time.”

An Indian actor of American descent, Tom Alter made his big screen debut in 1976 with a small role in Dharmendra-starrer Charas and later went on to work in films such as Shatranj Ke Khiladi, Gandhi, Kranti, Bose: The Forgotten Hero and Veer Zara. But it was his sitcom Zabaan Sambhalke (1993-1997) that made him a household name. The series, also starring Pankaj Kapoor, was the adaptation of British sitcom, Mind Your Language (1977).

The actor was admitted to hospital earlier this month after reporting serious body ache. His son had informed in earlier interviews that his condition was a relapse of the same illness which had happened last year and unfortunately, for various reasons, it was not detected at that time and has come back.

Tom Alter was also a part of other hit TV shows like Shaktiman and Captain Vyom, both extremely popular with kids. Alter’s last Bollywood film was director Imran Khan’s Sargoshiyan, which released earlier this year. Besides films and television, Alter’s presence in theatre has been noteworthy. His play, In Ghalib In Delhi, had many shows across the country. He played the lead role of celebrated poet Mirza Ghalib.

Tom was also honoured with the Padma Shri in 2008 for his services to the field of arts and cinema.

The actor is survived by his wife Carol Evans Alter, son Jamie Alter and daughter Afshaan. A memorial service will be held next week for Tom Alter at Malabar Hill.


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  1. K
    Sep 30, 2017 at 8:40 pm
    I met you very briefly at a workshop and I still remember your firm handshake. What a personality and great actor. May you rest in peace. May God bless your soul.
    1. C
      Sep 30, 2017 at 7:35 pm
      Rest in Peace Dear Tom you will be missed on Indian Screen.
      1. G
        Sep 30, 2017 at 5:54 pm
        Who can forget the eternal and only white man in Hindi cinemas back in 1970's . Avery noble and educated good human being. You will be missed.
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            Alphonso D'souza
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